Volume 39, Issue 2 (March 1994)
Pedophiles' Ratings of Adult and Child Photographs Using a Semantic Differential
Recent knowledge of the widespread extent of child sexual abuse and its consequences has led to an increasing interest in the understanding and treatment of perpetrators. This study examined a group of pedophiles in an English Special Hospital to determine possible characteristics that make children attractive and adults unattractive to them, using Repertory Grid technique and Semantic Differential. A small number of significant findings suggest that pedophiles may perceive some children and women in an unusual way. The large number of insignificant findings are discussed with reference to the sensitivity of the instrument; the pedophiles' desire to give socially acceptable answers; and subject characteristics of low IQ and “psychopathic disorder.” Future directions for research are suggested.